Massaman Curry with Beef

I like all things curry, but I have a special love for curries from Thailand. I’ve only visited that country once, but I’ve come to know its cuisine fairly well because I’ve spent so much time trying their recipes. Thai curries have a sophisticated yet friendly and approachable combination of flavors. Today I will show you how to make Massaman curry with beef. You can get by with using a curry paste from the store, so this is pretty easy to make. It has peanuts and a touch of sweetness so it’s not your typical curry. If you know someone who says “I don’t like curry,” you may change their mind with this one.

Massaman curry has been repeatedly ranked as the world’s most delicious food in major media outlets. Unlike other Thai curries, Massaman curry uses cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, and mace. In this way it is bit like Indian or Bangladeshi curries. However it tastes nothing like those curries because it has peanuts and is slightly sweet. Other important flavors in Massaman curry are from dried chili peppers, coriander, lemongrass, galangal, white pepper, and shrimp paste.

Don’t worry though — you don’t have to collect all these individual ingredients! You can get use the paste I recommend below and just a few other things. You can find the curry paste in any Asian grocery store or have it delivered to you from Amazon. I don’t know that most regular U.S. grocery stores will carry it.

To make the curry, first fry the curry paste with coconut cream. After that you’ll add meat, potatoes, onions, fish sauce or salt, tamarind paste, sugar, coconut milk, and peanuts. You can make this vegan-friendly if substitute meat for tofu or tempeh.

This curry has a truly amazing flavor from the combination of spices from India and Thailand. I hope you try this one and let me know your experience.



  • 2 lbs. petite sirloin beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 13.5 oz. can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. massaman curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled, cut each into 6 pieces (3.5 cup)
  • 2 large shallots, peeled, cut each into same size as potatoes (1 1/4 inch pieces), about 1 1/4 cup
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown or palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind puree
  • 1/3 cup toasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


When you open a can of coconut milk, there will be a thick layer of coconut cream on the top of the can. Scrape it out and place it in a wide mouth saucepan.

Save the rest of the coconut milk. We’ll be coming back to it later. Cook the coconut cream over medium-high heat for around 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Continue this process until the coconut milk bubbles and is reduced. Add the curry paste, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt, and cardamom powder to the coconut cream. Stir the mixture, then turn down the heat to medium. Cook for 30-40 seconds, stirring to prevent from burning.

Cook this mixture until the coconut cream cracks and the oil floats to the surface. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent getting burnt. Add a cup of water to the beef and stir well. Lower the heat, cover, and cook the beef for an hour, keeping an eye and stirring often.

While the beef is cooking, place peanut and a 1/3 of cup water in a small blender and puree until smooth, then set aside.

Add rest of the coconut milk, potatoes, shallots, fish sauce, sugar, peanut puree, and tamarind to the beef.

Stir well, cover and cook on low heat for 30- 35 minutes until potatoes are cook through and beef is tender. Taste for seasoning. Serve this over cooked rice and garnish with some cilantro leaves!

Serves 6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.


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